The absolute joy of a dining experience that exceeds expectations.
La Lucciola is a very well known and very established restaurant in Seminyak. It’s right on the beach and as the name suggests, serves Italian cuisine. The people who own La Lucciola recently opened Bambu, our favourite restaurant while in Bali. La Lucciola is a popular restaurant and you definitely need to make a reservation.
La Lucciola is easy to find. It’s right next door to the beach car park and then you cross over a little bridge (watch out, it’s a wee bit slippery), that takes you over a stagnant stream (watch out, it smells), and then once over the bridge you can’t miss the restaurant.
The restaurant is very Balinese in style and there’s that half-inside/half-outside tropical appeal with the facade of the building completely open.
We weren’t sure whether we were going to be dining upstairs or on the ground level and were really pleased when we were escorted towards the staircase and started ascending to where the view really improves. Our plan had been to arrive in time for the sunset however once again it went ahead without us.
We were shown to a table in the centre of the restaurant that was situated with an unobstructed view of the beach where we could see all the pretty colours of a twilight sky. The tables at La Lucciola are very well spaced and also generously proportioned so if you’re like me and don’t like to feel cramped and squashed, you’ll be very comfortable at La Looch (as it’s known by the regulars).
As we found with everywhere we went in Bali, there is no shortage of wait staff and without hovering, whenever you need them they always seem to appear. We found the staff at La Looch to be very welcoming, professional, friendly and whisper quiet.
The wine list is extensive but pricey, especially when you also have to add in the 16% tax. There are lots of wines from Australia and New Zealand and we started with a bottle of The Springs Pinot Noir because Drew loves pinot so everywhere we go he orders pinot and usually from New Zealand. This pinot had a very pretty colour.
A complimentary bread basket was brought to the table of ciabatta rolls and grissini. The bread is all made on the premises and I did love the grissini. This was probably the best bread we had while in Bali.
The menu isn’t extensive but it’s more than adequate with many tempting options. Once again however, as was our experience in almost everywhere we dined in Bali, the restaurants are very dark which is romantic and a lot more flattering, however, it’s tricky with photography.
For an entree Drew chose the fritto misto; semolina deep fried squid, zucchini blossoms and bogna cauda. The batter on the squid was incredibly light and not oily, the zucchini blossoms were very lightly covered in batter and had a crispy exterior with the softness from the blossom and stem underneath. The bogna cauda which is an Italian dipping sauce flavoured with anchovies and garlic was served warm and being so robust, was a lovely contrast to the delicate flavours of the squid and zucchini blossoms. Drew declared this dish a winner.
The entree I ordered was the black angus beef carpaccio with quail eggs, roast garlic aioli, rocket and artichoke. This was one of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten. The carpaccio was beautifully sliced and so tender and the quail eggs were perfectly cooked with still-runny yolks. I loved the artichokes and the aioli was very light and enhanced the delicate flavours of the dish.
For a main, Drew chose the pan-seared salmon with eggplant and salsa crudo. It was a very generous portion of salmon that broke apart with just a nudge. The simple mixture of tomatoes, onions, chillies and coriander that makes up the salsa crudo had beautiful fresh flavours that were a lovely compliment to the fish.
For a main I chose the charcoal baby chicken with mascarpone, lemon, chilli, dill and asparagus. The flavours were very fresh and vibrant and the chicken was incredibly succulent with plenty of flavour on the skin.
When dining in restaurants where you can order sides to go with your main course, I believe you always need to trust the advice of your waiter as to how many of these you will actually need to compliment your dish. Our waiter was very helpful and said we’d probably only need one side to share so we went with the rosemary and sea salt potatoes. I loved how they arrived with a fresh sprig of rosemary on the side. The potatoes were crispy and well seasoned and the rosemary very fragrant.
We didn’t need a dessert but felt we should at least share one so we ordered the La Lucciola Sorbetto where you can choose three scoops of gelato. We ordered the coconut, the tiramisu and the strawberry mascarpone. When in a romantic tropical setting I can recommend finishing your meal with a trio of gelato.
For Bali standards, La Lucciola isn’t inexpensive. It is probably the most expensive restaurant we went to in Bali. However, the setting couldn’t be more stunning, the staff look after you amazingly well, the menu has so many tempting options, and the food is honest, non-fussy and well presented. We really enjoyed our dinner at La Lucciola and a good sign is that we talked about it all the way home.
La Lucciola: On the beach next to the carpark at Seminyak.
Verdict: Put this one on your list.